It was Ben’s idea as his farewell meal that we go to Komi Restaurant, which we’ve been to once before when our Dad was in town. It was, to say the least, an unbelievable meal. Neither one of ate the entire day and that may have helped a bit, but the outcome was still the same, an unbelievable meal that sticks with you. When was the last time you had a meal where you remember almost all of the courses, the wine, the music, the background music and the other customers, etc.?
I’m no foodie and will gladly admit it but I do enjoy an amazing meal and chef/owner Johnny Monis is one of the best young chefs in this country (Food and Wine named him one of America’s best new chefs in 2007).
[ DC Foodies' glowing review from last month has more exact descriptions of Degustazione meal, which we also chose. You put your meal into the hands of the chef; what he serves is what you get—a liberating feeling actually, you sit back and eat what comes out.
We were seated for a 6pm reservation, one of the two remaining times when he called two and half-weeks out, and the small but cozy restaurant was fairly quiet. The reservations are tough to get because Komi has such a great reputation and because the chef purposefully limits the number of reservations and group sizes (no larger than four) because the kitchen is small and he can’t maintain the high food standards if he were to open it up to more customers.
Here’s my favorite parts of the Degustazione meal:
- Goat- fell off the bone, so tender, amazing
- Octopus, quail egg, avocado, and lentils on the bottom
- Scallop w/ fresh, local roasted corn and slice of summer truffle
- Gazpacho with a grilled chile pepper
- Foire grois, breaded balls
- Ox tail mini-gyro
- Handmade tortellini w/ grilled shrimp
Our only minor complaint was the time between the small plates and the main courses, it was a tad longer that we expected. The pace of the entire rest of the meal was perfect, you never noticed that food had come to quickly or slowly, it just seemed to appear at a natural pace that felt right.
Although certainly the youngest ones there but confident in Ben’s epicurean knowledge, I knew we’d have a great meal because I could ask him for the details on exactly what we were eating. I’m not sure the other customers knew exactly what they were getting into with a meal at Komi. Ben made the smart move of discreetly indicating that we had been to the restaurant before and weren’t food jamoches (or at least Ben isn’t). We had a great time talking with the sommelier and he was nice enough to introduce to the chef after the meal, which made an otherwise truly amazing meal even better.
Komi’s not inexpensive but if you want a truly amazing, culinary adventure, definitely go there with an open mind. Put yourself at the mercy of the chef, because he knows more about good food than you’ll ever know; trust him; you will eat things that you’ve heard of before and experience tastes and flavors that you palette has never enjoyed and may never enjoy again.